The Copyright Amendment (Service Providers) Act 2018 (Cth) (‘the Act’) was assented to on 29 June 2018. This Act is for the purpose of extending the operation of the safe harbour scheme related to copyright. The Act is due to commence on 29 Dec 2018.
This Act amends the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) to insert provisions which are for the purpose of broadening the definition of service providers. The specific changes are:
As stated in the Act’s associated second reading speech, this Act builds on the amendments made by the Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and other Measures) Act 2017 (Cth) ('Disability Access Act'). The Disability Access Act was introduced for the purpose of modernising the operation of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) and improve the relationship between education and cultural service providers and rights holders. For more information on the Disability Access Act, please read TimeBase’s earlier article.
The Act also builds on findings from extensive consultation with stakeholders into the extension of the safe harbour provisions, as noted in aissued by the Minister for Communications and Minister for the Arts. The media release has stated that the Government’s intention and goal is to develop safe harbour provisions that strikes a balance between the interests of copyright holders and the creative sector and digital economy.
In his second reading speech in the Senate, Senator James McGrath, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister stated that the aim of extending the safe harbour scheme to service providers is to provide greater certainty to these providers and more information about their responsibilities when interacting with material in the online realm.
He provided an overview of the safe harbour scheme, noting that initially a cautious approach was taken because the Internet was still a new development at the time:
Under the new laws, service providers such as universities, educational institutions, and cultural institutions will have protection previously only given to internet service providers. Universities Australia chief executive, Catriona Jackson, was reported inas stating:
As, Australian Digital Alliance executive officer Jessica Coates welcomed the changes, stating:
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Copyright Amendment (Service Providers) Act 2018 (CTH), and associated Bill and second reading speeches, as published on TimeBase LawOne.
Sian Powell, ‘,’ The Australian, 4 July 2018.
Rohan Pearce, ‘,’ Computerworld, 27 June 2018.
[media release] Minister for Communications, Minister for Arts, Manager of Government Business in the Senate, '', 21 April 2017.
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